Outstanding CBA Volunteer: Nancy Birt

By CBA/ABC National April 17, 201817 April 2018

Outstanding CBA Volunteer: Nancy Birt


CBA National: What is your main motivation for giving back as a CBA volunteer?

Nancy Birt: I recall that as one of my first volunteer involvements with CBA, I was asked to be a member of the PEI branch committee of the Gender Equality Task force, which resulted in the Wilson Report “Touchstones for Change”.  As a young woman in the profession at that time, I felt that CBA was trying to listen to my experiences and offer support. I was also a young entrepreneur, having opened my own law firm with one other woman in Charlottetown in 1993, the same year the “Touchstones for Change Report” was released. My business partner and I were raising our young children and trying to practice law in a way that was not traditional but worked for our families. CBA was an important voice in our profession and support in that time. Throughout my practice, I continued to volunteer my time in other ways with CBA, on other committees, and then on the PEI branch executive, and now as a national board member. I strongly believe in the values of CBA and the role it plays as the voice of the legal  profession. Throughout my career, I have benefitted from the work of the CBA and have felt personal satisfaction in being a volunteer. Ultimately, I hope that my volunteer time with CBA contributes to a vibrant and healthy organization that continues to be the leading voice of the legal profession for many years to come.     

N: We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see.” What is it that you want to achieve by giving your time to the CBA?

NB: In the last few years, CBA has struggled to maintain membership and threats to its ongoing viability are pervasive. I believe in the overall value of CBA as the distinct voice of the profession and in its advocacy work.  In my current volunteer position with the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Policy Committee, I want to ensure the ongoing stability and success of CBA.  

N: Has anything surprised you in what you've taken away from the experience?

NB: The one thing that I am repeatedly surprised by is the advocacy and international initiatives work done by the CBA staff and member volunteers. Being involved with CBA at a national level offers one an opportunity to see the vast scope and value of this work not just to our membership but to all Canadians, and the extent to which CBA is recognized as a leader, with a voice that is respected around the world.    

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